Rescues and shelters now make up a quarter of the estimated 6,000 hoarding cases reported in the U.S. each year.
It remains a mystery how someone trying to rescue animals goes to accumulating them in inhumane conditions without food, water, or basic care. The focus on hoarding has intensified in recent years due to publicized cases, there is even a television show called “Animal Hoarders.”
Some hoarders see themselves as saviors even as animals are dying. In 2007, a nurse, Sylvia Gyimesi, was reported euthanizing sick animals with a homemade cocktail of vodka and sleeping pills at the Best Buddies Rescue she ran out of her home in California.
In a pair of mobile homes, investigators found close to 150 Chihuahuas, Dachsunds, and Poodle mixes, along with some large breeds. They found graves in the backyard and a paw sticking out of the ground near the house.
She turned all, but ten, of her dogs over to the county and pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of animal cruelty.
If you or anyone you know believe you may be an animal rescuer turned hoarder, please call your local animal shelter. The well-being of these animals depends on you, and if they are living in horrible conditions, they will not make good pets for people in the future. They will learn not to trust us humans.